After reading heaps of questions regarding suspension setup I thought it might be time to write a bit of a generic guide to setting up ones bike. First up -I am no "expert" or "professional" suspension guru. Just someone who has read & experimented heaps over the years & learnt what works for me (and a few mates willing to listen & experiment) Second -don't be scared of trying things for yourself. There is no "magic" or "black art" to suspension tuning. Just a few basic principles. All the suspension does is absorb bumps in the road, allowing the tyre to keep providing traction. Righty oh then. Where to start. Preload. Setting the "sag" The first thing to do is find yourself a helper. Chief measurer. Scribe. Whatever tickles you. Then jack the bike up from the frame, allowing the suspension to extend to its maximum length. Measure from the axle to a fixed point on the frame. Front & rear. Write these measurements down. Now sit the bike back down on the ground. Bounce it up & down a couple of times. Now measure again. Compare with the fully extended lengths. This should be no more than 10% of the TOTAL amount of suspension travel available. If way outside this range then you adjust the preload settings to suit. Next -park your fat carcase upon said bike. Put your feet on the pegs. Bounce the bike up & down a couple of times. Do this close to a wall or post so you can hold yourself & said bike upright without taking your weight off the bike. Use your elbow to hold yourself upright. Or your hand. One finger is even sufficient if you get it right. Get your helper to measure again. From the axle to the same fixed point on the frame. Write these measurements down. Compare with the origional fully extended measurements. This figure should be about 1/3 of your bikes TOTAL suspension travel. If heaps less, your spring rates are too hard. If heaps more, too soft. There is no cheap & cheerfull fix here. New springs are in order. Adding preload is not going to help you. Sorry. Once you have this correct, the fun bit begins. Damping. Compression & rebound. One, both, or neither depending on your bike. Set them to the standard settings. Now go find a bumpy corner. One you can take at about the fastest you reckon you will be riding at. No use setting up your bike for a pace you won't ever ride at. Or where it doesn't really matter. I would err on the side of faster rather than slower. This is where you will pick the real differences, where damping becomes more noticable -at speed. Now blast around said corner. At speed. How does your bike react over the bumps? Do the wheels deflect & skitter harshly over the bumps? Probably too much compression damping. Does the bike pitch & wallow fore & aft like a ship at sea? Not enough rebound damping. DON'T FIDDLE WITH THE PRELOAD. THIS WON'T FIX IT. You have already set it to suit your weight. Right back at the start of this exercise. Now hit the brakes (once you are round the corner of course) Does the bike try to rub its nose on the road? If it does then try adding a bit more compression damping. Once again, DON'T FIDDLE WITH THE SPRING PRELOAD. THIS WON'T FIX IT. As stated above. Now accelerate hard. Preferably in the lower gears. Does the bike want to squat & drag its butt along the ground like a dog with an itchy @rse? Add a bit more compression damping. Now blast over a series of bumps. Does the bike comfortably soak up the first couple & then start to feel harsh & deflect off the rest? If so, take out a bit of rebound damping. Does it begin to pitch & wallow? Add a bit more rebound. And so on. A couple of pointers. Only adjust one thing at a time. That way you will know exactly what is working for you. Or not. How many clicks to adjust at a time? If your damping has 20+ clicks from soft to hard, I can guarantee you will not be able to feel 1 click either way. Unless your name is Rossi. So go 4 or 5 clicks at at time. This will give you an idea of where you want to go. Then refine it from there. A couple of clicks each way to fine tune things. However -if you only have 4 positions, then you most likely will be able to feel the change one click makes. And once more, once you have set the suspension sag (unloaded to loaded), don't fiddle with it any more. The damping does the rest.